I've got a big landscaping gig up in the local mountains above Santa
I'm really completely overwhelmed by the prospects of planning such a
large gardening project, as I have little experience, but its a
WONDERFUL summer job. How can I refuse? But I need HELP. I have
some friends good with a lot of experience who might be able to help
me, but I'd figure I'd post here too.
The place is large and pretty shady. Its at about 1500 ft. Pretty
dry, above the fog belt, no summer rains, occasional winter frost.
The soil seems pretty good and of the standard type around here... not
sure about the PH, though... does anyone know? The tree cover is
Madrone, Tan Oak, Doug Fir, and a few young planted redwoods. There
is one spot with some southern exposure, another with some western
exposure, and another with little of either.
I've been thinking rhododenrdons mainly, and I have some insansely
long lists of shade loving plants. Can anybody help narrow down my
selection? Please explain why your suggestion would be good in this
BSing your way into a landscape architect's job is a little more work than
you bargained for, huh? You're getting paid to figure this out, and if you
can't, then obviously the job is above your knowledge level and you should
turn it down rather than coming to a newsgroup for dubious assistance.
email@example.com (Dubs) wrote in message
Call your county extension office and ask if they have a Master
Gardener organization operating from their office. If so, get the
name & phone number of a couple of members. They are trained in all
aspects of plants, including landscaping, and give free advice.
I'm not sure that rhododendrons would be a good choice for a dry site. They
generally prefer moist soils with good drainage. I would google dry shade
plants to help narrow your list. Even though there may be irrigation
possibilities, it seems to me that California goes through periods every few
years where water is rationed. There are more drought resistant evergreen
flowering plants, if that is what you are considering. Camellias, for
instance, which need a fair amount of water their first few years,
eventually root in deeply enough to be relatively drought tolerant.
OK, number one, I'm not BSing anyone. The guy who is hiring me knows
full well he is hiring students and not serious professional
landscapers, which he does not want to pay for.
That said, I've learned QUITE a lot since my last post. Rhodos are
out. Much of the area spotted with oaks and madrones, which don't
like watering during the dry summers. The PH is btw 6 and 7. The
soil is sandy loam and well drained.
As I said in my last post:
I'm using the Sunset Wester Gardens (2001) section on "Plants for
Growing Beneath Oaks" (pg. 150-151) for plant selection. I know that
many of these plants which are drought tolerant need to be watered for
the first year. Does anyone know will it affect the oaks to get
watered for one summer?
One plant I'm particularly partial to Nandina Domestica - Sacred
Bamboo or Heavenly Bamboo. Its quite lovely. Does anybody have any
experience with this stuff? I'm also very interested in Japanese
Aucuba, Darwin Barberry, Bush Anemone, Rockrose, Currants, Butchers
Broom (Ruscus), maybe some Aloe, and some others. If anybody has any
opinions or info on these plants, please feel free to share. The one
most important question is what to use for a ground cover. I really
like the Dwarf Plumbago, but will probably go with something more
drought tolerant like strawberries or oregon grape.
I'd love to hear any suggestions, opinions, etc.
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